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Understanding the Health Implications of Food Intolerance
Food intolerance occurs when a person has trouble digesting particular meals and experiences an adverse bodily reaction to them. Symptoms such as bloating and stomach aches happen a few hours after eating the served meal. The number of people who believe they have this sensitivity has increased considerably in recent years, but it is difficult to say how many people are genuinely afflicted.
Food Intolerance or Allergy? Symptoms and Diagnosis
Sometimes, Food Intolerance (subject of discussion) is often confused with that of allergy. While the former is when a person cannot properly digest the edible, the latter is an immune system response caused when the body mistakes an ingredient in an eatable (usually a protein) as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. A typical example of the former is sensitivity to lactose (milk), while that of the latter is an allergic reaction to shellfish.
Such sensitivity to some edibles is more common in those with digestive system disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A person with such a condition will often experience discomfort soon after eating certain meals. The symptoms are varied and usually involve the gastrointestinal tract, and feelings such as stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, headaches and malaise are not uncommon.
Reactivity to such meals arises if the body cannot digest certain edibles. This impairment may be due to a lack of digestive enzymes or sensitivity to certain chemicals. For some people, their bodies may lack the appropriate digestive enzymes to break down milk (lactose), gluten, preservatives, fructose, or caffeine.
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